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The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop an understanding of the factors of abuse, and study the working practices and strategies to reduce and prevent its occurrence.
The unit enables learners to understand the different types of abuse that can occur within the community. Learners will study the signs of abuse and factors that can contribute towards individuals being vulnerable. This will be followed by identifying legislation and policies that are in place and how professionals work within the guidelines and professional standards to safeguard both practitioners and users of health and social care services. Learners will consider the multi-agency approach and look at the strategies that are in place for all health and social care professionals to work together to minimise occurrences of abuse in health and social care contexts. Finally learners will consider the effectiveness of these working practices and strategies.
1 Understand the factors that contribute to the incidence of abuse and harm to self and others
- Different types of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, financial
- Different types of self-harm: self-inflicted wounds, drugs and alcohol
- Signs of abuse and self-harm: inappropriate bruising, burns, scalding, malnourishment, low self-esteem, emotional withdrawal, neglect, other risk factors
- Individuals vulnerable to abuse: children, young people, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health issues, elderly people, people with dementia
- Individual factors: self-esteem, identity, gender, previous abuse, relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, type of family background, mental health issues, psychological basis of abuse
- Contexts and relationships where abuse may occur: home, community, residential care, institutional care, relationships involving power, caring relationships, within the family, domestic violence
- Social factors: health, housing, education, poverty, social exclusion and disadvantage, networks of support
- Cultural factors: ethnicity, discrimination, religion.
2 Understand current legislation, policy and professional involvement regarding abuse in health and social care contexts
- Legislation and policy initiatives: national, regional and local policies; professional standards and guidance as appropriate; individual rights; Fraser guidelines.
- Range of professionals: range of professionals from health and social care including social workers, social service staff, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), health professionals.
3 Understand working practice and strategies used to minimise abuse in health and social care contexts
- Working practices: written and oral communication, use of ICT in sharing information between professionals, anti-oppressive practice, anti-discriminatory practice, thresholds, risk factors, risk predictions, framework of assessment, identifying children in need
- Strategies: working in partnership with users of health and social care services, between professionals and within organisations, decision-making processes and forums, safeguarding children boards, the ‘at risk’ register, area child protection committee, organisational policies and training.
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